To proliferate and lose oneself, this was the meaning of the collective enterprise that the movement was attempting in Italy. The actual encounter between Berardi and Guattari only happened in June , after the creative insurrection that had taken place in Bologna around Radio Alice and the subsequent wave of repression had already been played out the preceding Spring.
This worked out badly for Berardi who, from speaking at public meetings, meeting with other autonomists and publishing the beforementioned revue was accused of instigating class hatred and other crimes.
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In the meantime violent conflict had broken out in Bologna, as a result of the shooting of a young militant by the police, followed by a massive wave of arrests. Although in June Berardi, like many others had fled to Paris, the Italian authorities had convinced the local police that he was a dangerous figure, and the anti-terror squad came to arrest him while on the way to have lunch with a girlfriend.
This created the conditions for the convention against repression that took place in Bologna the following September, in which Guattari participated. While this was a massive and joyous event with tens of thousands of people participating, it also for Berardi marked the end of the movement in Italy and the drift towards the duality of terrorism and the state anullment of dissident social forces that it was unable to halt.
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Of course this would not have changed history whether on an Italian or a global scale where the furious capitalist counter-offensive, the imposition of Thatcherism, and the attacks on the form of life of the working class was already being prepared, but it might have helped transform a generation of rebels into autonomous experimenters. In this way, the song of the times that must come are sung. But not all the blame for depression can be ascribed to this winter as it is fundamental to desire itself. Desire presents the account and the subject cannot pay it, while singularity cannot not pay it.
Depression is this account. In works such as Anti-Oedipus with its Spinozist emphasis on the cultivation of joyful affects, there could be no place for such sad passions, which were instead associated with Oedipal repression and capitalist reterritorialisation even the sad militant comes in for harsh treatment. However as Berardi points out there is also the time of depression, when the provisory community of desire or the joyful creation of concepts both of which are conglomerations of desiring energy no longer have a hold on the world which instead tends towards dispersion and dissolution.
One could say that the affirmation of desiring-production in Anti-Oedipus has links with romanticism and the concept of extasis or pure expenditure, via Christian mysticism and Bataille; it is a youthful utopia. This means that the pervasiveness of capital is not dependent only on an effect of abstract overcoding mainly operative in the moment of exchange but on the technologically mediated integration of the diverse moments of the production process from the project phase, to the informational and material phases.
Capital becomes understood as an imposed or rather proliferated model understood as a semiotic operator, that is as a rule of generalised trans-codification. It also allows for the understanding of capital in relation to the new proliferations of margins, the residue of this process whether in the forms of diverse nationalisms and tribalisms reterritorialisations or minorities and subcultures deteritorialisations. There is no need to think of power as a cold machine composed of decisions and wills.
It is instead an adequate description of the psychopathologies that traverse the social mind in a situation of informational overload and competitive stress. Considering that the primary operator of this pathological subjectivation is the mass media it is probably time to return to the problematic of the post-media era, which presents itself as the need to confront this drastically psychopathological or at the very least depressing situation.
For example he was enthusiastic about the communicative potentials of the Net, well before the world Wide Web was developed and when his only experience of it was the rather primitive French minitel system.
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According to Berardi his thought was already a network thought even before the existence of the technical network. At this point he takes on the criticisms of Richard Barbrook who form a state Marxist position accuses Deleuze and Guattari who he labels as holy fools of collusion with neo-liberalism claiming that their thought operates by the same logic hence accounting for its popularity with Californian IT developers and enthusiasts of Wired magazine etc. Berardi acknowledges that there is a link between high tech capitalism and rhizomatic thought even going so far as to accept the derogatory for Barbrook label of techno-nomadism.
The link is however not one of collusion but of adopting an immanent network approach to both critique and subversion. Berardi argues that it is this approach rather than an outdated Marxist-Leninism that will have any possibility to subvert the reigning neo-liberal high tech ideology because it is able to intervene in its own lines and rhythms of development, which completely leave behind the powers of conventional Marxist-Leninism.
It is only through a mobile techno-nomadic thought that one is able to discern the possible lines of flight operative in the current world situation. This has nothing to do with the Neo-Liberal affirmaiton of randomness and its fanaticism for the market economy. The awareness of this fact makes Guattari a precursor of libertarian cyberculture. Perhaps we are at the point at which the question is no longer what is the post-media era but rather what are the lines along which it will develop and what interventions are possible along these lines.
Because if the postmediatic era means the era of mass networks this is not in itself a positive development but one that holds as many catastrophic potentials as liberating ones, after all the spheres of both neoliberal eocnomics and infinite warfare have also become rhizomatic and post-mediatic in their own way even if this is very far from the future of the media era hoped for by Guattari. The question is one of how to compose networks of subjective auto-organisation that are able to assume an autonomy from neo-liberal economic and military networks and their associated deadening of relationality, affect and desire in the direction of pure functionality and aggressivity.
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It is in terms of this conflict between paradigms that the potentials for the post-media era envisaged by Guattari will continue to be played out and hopefully in some spheres actualised in an ethic-aesthetic auto-organisational direction. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.
You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Finally, in the much more poetic and manifesto-like preface with which Guattari introduces the translation of texts and documents form Radio Alice, he comes to a conclusion which can perhaps stand as an embryonic formula for the emergence of the post-media era as anticipated by Radio Alice and the Autonomia movement more generally: In Bologna and Rome, the thresholds of a revolution without any relation to the ones that have overturned history up until today have been illuminated, a revolution that will throw out not only capitalist regimes but also the bastions of beaureaucratic socialism […] , a revolution, the fronts of which will perhaps embrace entire continents but which will also be concentrated sometimes on a specific neighbourhood, a factory, a school.
Felix, from the Encounter to Rhizomatic Thought The first striking element of this book is its title, Felix not Guattari, thereby indicating that this is an intimate portrait, not an abstract account of a body of thought.
Tones of intimacy and abstraction combine in haunting chords of unhappy politics and philosophical triumphs. Strains of oracularity take flight in political insights more Buddhist than Leninist. Immensely protective of Felix as both teacher and friend, Bifo ensures that the refrains of Guattari's processes of subjectivation do not petrify into academic givens but continue to sing their extraordinary singularity and make new becomings available for those engaged in tomorrow's struggles.
Bifo invites his readers to share the intensities of conceptual and political creativity, productively despair of the fragility of the psyche and the environment, and rejoice in a philosophical friendship with the conviction to head straight into chaos. Bifo's Felix is a netizen before the letter; semio-chemist of molecular evolution; analyst of an unconscious redesigned for getting things done together; and a trusted fellow militant.
In this remarkable book there is more than enough sharable affect available to counteract the attenuations of revolutionary desire under infocapital. Franco 'Bifo' Berardi is a major Italian media theorist and activist, an agent provocateur who deserves to be as well known to Anglophone readers as Agamben, Negri or Vattimo.
Bifo's book does many things at once: it introduces readers to the thought of Guattari and Deleuze, who for once gets second billing in a lively and agile manner; it offers a moving tribute to a departed friend and ally as well as a meditation on friendship as the necessary condition of thought and action; it creates new philosophical concepts of unhappiness and depression that are crucial for understanding the present; and much more.
This book should be essential reading for everyone who is concerned with nihilism and deconstruction, biopower and the multitude, bare life and the state of exception in short, everyone who wants to confront the twenty-first century on its own terms. Murphy, University of Oklahoma.
Mecchia Notes Bibliography Index. Du kanske gillar.
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